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Basic Hummingbird Cake

Makes 12 servings Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3 eggs, beaten

  • 1½ cups sugar

  • 1⅓ cups vegetable oil

  • ¼ cup buttermilk

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups very ripe banana, mashed (about 4 medium bananas or 16 ounces)

  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple (or fresh chopped pineapple)

  • 2 cups toasted chopped pecans, divided

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

  • 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened

  • ¼ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 6 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.

  2. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda.

  4. Add the eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract, and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

  5. Stir in the mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, and one cup of chopped pecans, and stir just until evenly mixed.

  6. Divide the batter evenly between your three coated cake pans (about 22 ounces per pan). Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, and then remove them from the pans and transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

  7. Make the cream cheese frosting: beat together the butter, cream cheese, and salt with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar on low speed, until it is all incorporated. Whip in the vanilla extract.

  8. Decorate the cake: if desired, use a serrated knife to trim off the rounded tops of each cake to make them level. (If you don’t want to do this, you can also just fill in the gaps with more frosting.) Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate or cake decorating turntable, and spread the top of the first layer with about ¼ of the frosting. Turn the second layer of cake upside-down (so that you have a nice flat surface for frosting), and place it on top of the first frosted cake layer. Frost it with about another ¼ of the frosting. Place the last cake layer, upside-down, on top of the second frosted cake layer. Cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans over the top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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